Sisters Network Inc. is an incredible organization that helps African American breast cancer patients and survivors. This organization provides financial assistance and other programs that can help you!
What is Sisters Network Inc?
Sisters Network Inc. is a national nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance and other support to African American breast cancer patients and survivors.
This organization was founded in 1994 by Karen Eubanks Jackson, a breast cancer survivor. This organization is focused on raising awareness and providing assistance to those who have received this life-changing diagnosis.
According to the Sisters Network Inc website, “Black women are 42% more likely to DIE of breast cancer than white women.” That’s a staggering statistic that deserves attention!
What does Sisters Network Inc do?
Sisters Network Inc does several things to accomplish their mission. They raise awareness through their annual conference and the annual Stop the Silence walk. They also provide direct financial assistance to low income patients that qualify.
Since Black women are less likely to be diagnosed at an early stage, Sisters Network Inc. hosts an annual Stop the Silence walk to raise awareness. It is held in Houston, Texas, in April every year. If you’re interested in participating, make sure you register before mid-March so you can get your t-shirt!
The organization also hosts an annual Breast Cancer Conference that specifically addresses the threat of breast cancer poses to African American women. That conference has been held annually since 1999, according to the Sisters website.
Breast Cancer Assistance Program (BCAP)
Sisters Network Inc. also provides financial assistance to breast cancer patients through the Karen E. Jackson Breast Cancer Assistance Program. Since 2006, this program has issued over $1.2 million dollars to eligible women who need financial assistance.
There are two parts to this program:
- BCAP Financial Assistance
- BCAP Mammogram Assistance
The mammogram program helps those who are uninsured or underinsured afford 3D mammogram screenings. This fund encourages early deduction for those who might otherwise be unable to afford diagnostic services on their own. This fund is limited to eligible patients who live in Dallas or Houston, Texas. Funds from this program are sent as vouchers, which can be redeemed at participating mammogram providers.
The financial assistance program provides grants of up to $350 to eligible breast cancer patients who are currently receiving treatment. The grants can be used to pay for housing or utilities. Specifically, the grant will cover electric, water and gas utilities. They will not assist with cable, cell phones or transportation costs. They cannot help with medical costs, either.
Are you eligible?
The eligibility criteria varies depending on which assistance program you need. Obviously, you aren’t required to have a breast cancer diagnosis to get a mammogram.
Sisters Network Inc. may be able to help you with a mammogram voucher if you live in Dallas or Houston and you are either a breast cancer survivor or an undiagnosed woman.
They may be able to provide you with financial assistance if you are in active treatment for breast cancer. Active treatment includes IV and port chemotherapy, radiation, and recently completed surgical procedures. There are many treatments that do not count as “active treatment,” such as oral pills, immunotherapy, hormonal therapy or reconstructive surgeries.
It is possible that Sisters Network Inc. has additional eligibility requirements that are not explicitly stated on their website.
How to Apply
The BCAP program is only open to applications twice per year. You have to apply during an open period in order to be considered.
When you complete the application, you will need to scan and include supporting documentation. If you do not include the documentation, your application denied. The organization specifically states that all copies must be scanned. Photographs of documents are not accepted.
Some of the documents you will need to submit may include:
- Signed BCAP application
- Letter describing your diagnosis and current treatment plan
The letter must be printed on letterhead. It must also be signed and dated by a member of your medical team, such as an oncologist, licensed social worker, nurse navigator or patient navigator.
Once you have scanned all your documents, you can email them to [email protected]. Make sure you include all the documents and submit it by the deadline listed in the application!
It can take up to 14 days to receive a mammogram voucher and up to 45 days before a decision will be made on your financial assistance application. I know it’s hard to wait for a response but it’s important to be patient.
Sisters Network Inc can provide up to $350 in financial assistance to breast cancer patients who are undergoing active treatment. They can also provide mammogram vouchers for breast cancer survivors and those who are undiagnosed. For more information, please reach out to Sisters Network Inc.